Using Drones in the Construction IndustryMay 16, 2019
In recent years, a growing number of construction sites are using drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to prevent common injuries and fatalities that occur in the construction industry. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), construction workers and site managers can use drones for a range of things, including aerial mapping, improved safety, surveillance, and work site inspections. However, drones also pose serious safety risks if they are not used properly. To avoid injuries or fatalities associated with drones, employers must ensure that workers understand how and when the drones will be used, and that they are trained on the appropriate safety protocols.
Pros of Using Drones
The benefits of drone technology in the construction industry are undeniable. The following are ways drones are changing the construction industry for the better:
- Replacing traditional land surveillance methods: In addition to being more time-consuming and labor intensive, there is a certain degree of human error involved in traditional methods of land surveillance. Drones are a significant improvement to these methods.
- Improvements to infrastructure: Drones can collect and report data quickly, which reduces labor costs. This allows contractors to make more ambitious bids.
- Improved communication and management: Drones allow employers to maintain constant contact with workers in real time, which improves the construction process.
- More efficient security: In addition to monitoring job sites and protecting employees’ safety, drones can protect the construction site against theft or vandalism.
- Heightened surveillance: Drones drastically improve onsite security at construction sites by providing round-the-clock surveillance. Another benefit is that they can monitor hazardous locations, reducing the risk of workplace accidents.
- Transportation and site inspections: Due to their small size and high level of maneuverability, drones are being used instead of traditional vehicles. They are also not impacted by traffic laws, so they can deliver in a fraction of the time.
Cons of Using Drones
- Flying too low: If the drone is flying too low, it can hit a worker, causing injuries to their head, face, or eyes, depending on how low the drone was flying. In addition, a drone can interfere with workers who operate cranes, work on scaffolding, or those who work at other elevated heights where a drone might be hovering.
- Electrocution hazards: If a drone flies too low and gets stuck in a tree near power lines, the worker can be electrocuted.
- Workers do not take drones seriously enough: A 13-ounce drone made from plastic and carbon fiber may look like something you would pick up at a toy store, which means workers may not understand the risks involved with using drones and the injuries they can cause.
Drone operators must be aware of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) rules for drones, regardless of whether they are being used for recreational use or by construction employers. They must register the drone with the FAA, fly the drone at or below 400 feet, keep the drone within the line of sight, be respectful of other people’s privacy, and avoid other aircrafts.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Workers Injured by Drones
If you were injured by a drone while on the job, contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton today. We protect your rights and secure the maximum benefits you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.